QLD Smoke Alarm Legislation 2017

 

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QLD Smoke Alarm Legislation 2017

The Queensland Government are implementing a massive reform in legislation regarding fire safety and residential smoke alarms. It is important that Queensland residents become familiar with this smoke alarm legislation and its 10-year timeline for implementation.

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Below is an extract from the Queensland Fire and Safety Services website detailing the new Queensland legislation regarding smoke alarms from 2017. A PDF copy is also available by clicking here.

Glossary of Terms*

Dwellings – houses, townhouses (Class 1A) and units (Class 2).

Hardwired – connected to the domestic dwelling’s electricity supply.

Interconnected – if one smoke alarm sounds all the other smoke alarms will also sound. Interconnection can be wired or wireless.

Substantial – work carried out under a building development approval or the total building works equals 50% of the dwelling over 3 years.

Storey – a space within a building which is situated between one floor level and the floor level or roof above.

For Existing Dwellings

From 1 January 2017

When replacing smoke alarms, they must be of a photoelectric type which complies with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014.

Replacing smoke alarms

Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than ten years ago must be replaced. (Note: Smoke alarms should have the date of manufacture stamped on them.)

Smoke alarms that do not operate when tested must be replaced immediately.

Existing hardwired smoke alarms that need replacement must be replaced with a hardwired smoke alarm.

From 1 January 2027

Smoke alarms in all dwellings must:

i) be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and

ii) not also contain an ionisation sensor; and

iii) be less than 10 years old; and

iv) operate when tested; and

v) be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

i) in each bedroom; and

ii) in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or

iii) if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and

iv) if there are no bedrooms on a storey at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

Smoke alarms must be either hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.

Dwellings Being Sold, Leased or an Existing Lease is Renewed

From 1 January 2017

Requirements as for existing dwellings.

Existing landlord’s and tenant’s obligations regarding the installation and testing of smoke alarms continue.

Property sellers must continue to lodge a Form 24 with the Queensland Land Registry Office stating the requirements of the smoke alarm legislation have been met.

From 1 January 2027

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

i) be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and

ii) not also contain an ionisation sensor; and

iii) be less than 10 years old; and

iv) operate when tested; and

v) be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

i) in each bedroom; and

ii) in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or

iii) if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and

iv) if there are no bedrooms on a storey at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

Smoke alarms must be hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.

New Dwellings and Dwellings Being Substantially Renovated

From 1 January 2017

The development approval process for new dwellings and substantial renovations will ensure that building approvals received on or after this date will bring dwellings into compliance with the new laws.

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

i) be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and

ii) not also contain an ionisation sensor; and

iii) be hardwired to the mains power supply with a secondary power source (i.e. battery); and

iv) be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

i) in each bedroom; and

ii) in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling; or

iii) if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and

iv) if there are no bedrooms on a storey at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

Prescribed Locations for Installing Smoke Alarms

Where practicable smoke alarms must be placed on the ceiling. Smoke alarms must not be placed:

i) within 300mm of a corner of a ceiling and a wall;

ii) within 300mm of a light fitting;

iii) within 400mm of an air-conditioning vent;

iv) within 400mm of the blades of a ceiling fan.

There are special requirements for stairways, sloping ceilings, and ceilings with exposed beams. Specific requirements will be explained in the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008.

If impractical for the prescribed location requirements to be met (e.g. may be affected by steam from shower or fumes from cooking), the owner may put the alarm at another location that will provide a warning to occupants of the dwelling.

Source documents

• Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Bill 2016

• Building Fire Safety (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Legislation Amendment Regulation 2016

• National Construction Code 2016

• Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014

• Land Title Act 1994

* Refer to specific legislation for full definitions.

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